Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I totally don't know where I'm going with color, but I do know that I'm adding as much texture as the paper will handle. Both strong and subtle textures... I hope they'll work together well :-)
I'm debating whether to go in with blues, greens, purples and make it dark, or make it almost white. I guess since there are two of them I could do both? What would you do?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Not just one...

Why paint only one angel, when I can paint two? 
This is just the beginning, the first stage. They almost look like mirror image, but who knows, they might turn completely different. I don't even have a color scheme in my mind at this time...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Taking it slow

 As much as I love painting extra fast, from time to time I like to take my time with paintings. And whenever several weeks pass without me painting an angel, I get this nudge to pick up the brush...
So that is what I started today. I don't know how much time I will have in the following days, and it doesn't really matter since I want to paint this slowly. Layer by layer, day by day.... I wonder how will it look at the end :-)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy things. Grateful, always.

If I haven't made this silly "blog every day in November" challenge for myself, I probably wouldn't post today, because I didn't even touch a pencil, paint or anything like that. But since I did challenge myself, I'll share some private things that made me extra grateful lately.
So... in 2005, when I started blogging, I posted this photo-collage of our son:
It was for his 19th birthday. I guess that was the time I started wondering how will I feel when he finds a girl he wanted to spend his life with. I had many talks with myself, preparing to be ok with anyone he liked, as long as he was happy. So, needless to say - the day came! A week ago, he proposed to his girlfriend, and she said yes and OMG it is a big deal! And, how do I feel? I couldn't be happier! My heart is content, and has no doubt that they are super good for each other. I am so looking forward to witness their future, and wish them happiness and joy and everything good, as they truly deserve it. Such sweet, good, smart, hard working kids... LOVE THEM!
Today also marks a week of me admitting to myself that I am (finally) a runner! All my life I could barely run from one street corner to the next. My poor husband thought I had a heart problem, as my heart would behave like it was about to explode. My huge dream was to be able to run 3 miles, because there is a lovely 3 mile long path where we live. When I first thought of it, I didn't for a second think that I could really do it. But a little seed of hope was born. It took me 8 full months! And a lot of self-talk. It is mostly in the head.... and my head was telling me (still does) that I couldn't do it. BUT I DID!!!! Last Saturday I ran that path without stopping, fighting not with my breath or tired legs (they were fine), but the voice in my head... fighting it all the way. At the end I took a celebratory "YAY ME!!!" shadow happy dance picture.
This is getting too long, but I need to share two more happy things. Both of these made me tear up, but in a good way. You might know that in September our daughter started college in NYC, far away from San Francisco... After so many years of being every day with her, talking about everything, knowing everything... it hit me pretty hard. Anyway, she sent a birthday card, and just the front of it made me cry. Validation! Don't we all need it? It made me feel like I'm doing ok at this Mom thing... The front page was just the beginning, after I read two full pages of her tiny script and turned into an emotional puddle. So, so grateful.
Last, but absolutely not the least, I am grateful for your birthday wishes! I loved reading both comments and emails and they added to my happy day. Thank you so much! I also received the most original birthday card (book actually) EVER, and almost wanted not to share because it is very special and tactile, and difficult to show without holding it. I decided that snippets will probably show the best the textures, colors and just pure beauty of it. Can you guess who sent it to me? Yes, she did. Feeling very grateful.
It is so much easier for me to post my little paintings, than write like this.... but challenge is a challenge and I'm moving on. Hopefully, tomorrow there will be a bird or a face to greet you. Thank you!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Celebrating my day today (49!!!!!!!!), so only art I can showa re flowers I drew on the glass top of my table. Easy to draw, easier to clean and remove completely. Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Green Birds painting (video)

I almost forgot that I recorded painting the birds I showed yesterday. It was my experiment with black and yellow. As you will see in the video, most of the painting was done in those colors. I added light glazes of brown and Payne's gray at the end. It feels like Friday.... I really want to say "Happy weekend", and have to keep reminding myself that it's not...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When life gives you paint spills...

When life gives you paint spills, you PAINT!
Do you see that big blob of white paint? It was one of three blobs that happened when an open jar of new titanium white paint fell on the floor. Actually, not floor, the carpet. The only place in our home that has a carpet is my studio... It was there when we purchased the house, and it stayed even though it makes no sense. This is not the first time that paint splattered on it.
 I keep some of my big journals on the floor, so - of course - the paint found them. What do you do? Use the paint and quickly make something. I am not in the best mood today. I slept very poorly, and I noticed that at my age even one bad night translates into a day of low energy and not the best attitude. 
 There was no way that any blending and shading were going to happen, so I just attacked the cover of the journal with bold paint strokes and messy lines. And I loved it! It might become a new standard for me.... the freer the better :-)
Or maybe not. Maybe if I get a good night of sleep, I might start feeling normal again :-) Until then, I hope you enjoy the expressiveness of this face as much as I enjoyed painting it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Empty Journal Spreads

This is a big, thick, heavy journal and it doesn't look like it in this picture at all.
Which probably means that I have a freakishly large hand...
I LOVE my journal, but I'm almost not using it at all. Last year I managed to easily fill in a whole book, but this year.... many spreads are left without one single word. I think it is a thing of habit; I either write almost daily, or stop completely. Right now I stopped even painting in my journal, because it feels wrong to have so many "unfinished" pages.
You may have noticed that I don't really work in "spreads". Sometimes, when I have leftover color or feel like it. Mostly I just open to a blank page and don't even think if it looks good with the page next to it. As my daughter once said, "I wish I had a word counter in my head. It would probably be a scary big number of words that constantly go through there." Maybe I should sit down and write something now, as I too have a scary big number of words in my head and they might like to get out and live on these pages.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Instagram

Of all social media I like Instagram the most. I start most days scrolling through amazing images that people around the world captured and it always brings a smile to my face. It also enables me to have a glimpse of everyday life of people I love. And, I think it opens me to the beauty that surrounds me. I love looking back through my own photos. Like a sketchbook - every picture puts me right back into that moment and I get to relive it again :-) Here are some of my pictures:
-Autumn in my neighborhood-
-Captured feeling of total awe-
-Cool places I saw-
-Good food-
-Cozy moments-
-I can't believe I captured this!-
I am almost sure that before the day is out, I will have more memories in my instagram flow :-)
Are you instagramming?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to make a quick sketch/collage combo (real-time video)

Did anyone try to do the 3 minute sketch? As I said, I doesn't have to be good... the looser the lines are, the more interesting the result. I think this is the longest video I posted (13 min). Probably because I did not speed it up. I wanted you to see how quick this is. (OK, I did speed it at the end, but only because I had to thread the needle and it took me forever and because looking at someone sew random patterns on paper really is not interesting.)
 Here is the YouTube link, in case your reader does not show the video (I use Feedly and sometimes I see videos, sometimes I don't).
I hope you'll like it!

Friday, November 15, 2013

2-3 minute sketches (2 videos)

Thank you for the lovely comments on my sketches/collage pieces. Randy Roelen van der Vlugt (can I say how much I love your name?) asked if I really did the sketches in 3 minutes. I didn't know the answer, because I didn't really measure the time. It just felt like 3 minutes. So I was curious to see how long it really is. 
You will see the first sketch in the following video:
- Better quality, bigger video when you click HERE -
Please keep in mind - these are really quick, rough sketches. Even I can do it somewhat better if I take my time.  I wish I had a picture of me drawing the second one - my camera and tripod were in front of me, the ipad on the left side (which means I was holding my hand in a completely unnatural position)... Doesn't matter. What I wanted to show is that in 2-3 minutes you can have a (probably better) sketch to play with. 
I will show you another example tomorrow - from the beginning sketch to finished collage.;

- Better quality, bigger video when you click HERE -
I am not sure how the videos will look, since I didn't upload them to YouTube first. They look horribly pixelated in my preview screen... If it turns out to be really bad, please let me know and I'll use Vimeo or something like that.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Collage and Sketching Mix

Sometimes simple things bring simple, good joy. I sketched several faces, spending maybe 3 minutes on each, then I layered them with paper that was on my table, making a simple collage. 
Crayons, color pencils and casein paint were a fun way to add random patches of color.
Then I just "had to" pull out my sewing machine, dust it off and add more red to my collages. That was the part I didn't have the energy to do yesterday, and they somehow seemed unfinished without it.
I'm so happy when I spend time creating something :-)
The only question now is - what to do with them?  My studio is exploding with stuff I made...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paper snippets

I started a fun little project, but have no energy to finish it today...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Color Explorations - Yellow & Black

Did you know that when you mix black and yellow you get green? I didn't. It makes sense, when I think about it, but I never thought of it before I played with them in my pretty red moleskine
Of course depending on which black and which yellow you choose, the results are different. My plan with these color explorations is not to get into color theory. I am not mixing clean pigments, primary colors etc... I just took the black I have (mars black, Golden) and all the yellows I could find and combined them. Look at my palette! Love it!
Here is a page I painted in my journal. One yellow, one black, white and the biggest challenge of all - no stabillo pencil.
This is with different yellow, and it mostly is yellowish, but when you look at it there is a lot of green too.
This one is on wood. Quick, expressive, just seeing what can I get with a limited palette.
Here I used all yellows mixed with black and white in different proportions.
Although I liked it, I wanted to push it a bit more so later I added other colors. I filmed a video of it, so as soon as I get time to edit it, I'll show you what happened.
If you try this color combination, post a link in the comments so I can see :-)